Many of us choose our cat carriers quickly and without much thought. After all, they all do the same thing, right? Not exactly. Carriers have advanced over the past few years and many have features that can make travel a safer and calmer experience for your cat. Choosing the right carrier can make a huge difference. Here are 5 factors to consider.
#1 – Right size
When it comes to carriers, many of us think bigger is inherently better. It seems to make sense that our cats will be happiest if they have as much room as possible to stretch and move around. Choosing the right sized carrier isn’t quite that easy though. In fact, transporting your cat in a carrier that’s too big greatly increases her chances of being tossed about and injured if you get into an accident. On the other end of the spectrum, a carrier that’s too small can make a cat who is already stressed about traveling feel even more cramped and anxious. According to many veterinarians and behaviorists, the right carrier will be one and a half times the size of your cat. That’ll give her enough room to move around while keeping her secure.
#2 – Right material
There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer when choosing the type of material your cat carrier will be made out of. There are benefits and disadvantages to both hard and soft carriers. Hard carriers, usually made of plastic, are sturdy and long lasting but can be heavy and clunky. Soft carriers are often made of vinyl and mesh. While they’re lightweight and easier to maneuver, a cat who is prone to clawing can shred a soft carrier within a few trips to the vet. Take your cat’s personality and your lifestyle into consideration when choosing the correct carrier material.
#3 – Multiple openings
You and your cat will both be less stressed about traveling if there are multiple ways to get her in and out of the carrier. Look for the standard opening on the end of the carrier as well as an opening on the top of the carrier.
#4 – Safe for traveling
To keep your cat safe while you’re traveling, make sure your carrier has a feature that’ll allow you to secure it with a seat belt. This will keep the carrier in place if you get into an accident or if you have to stop suddenly.
#5 – Washable
Some cats get physically sick when they’re traveling, whether from the motion or stress. Even if your cat isn’t prone to sickness, the carrier can still get grubby after a while. Choose a carrier that you can easily scrub, machine wash, or disinfect. Having the ability to easily clean the carrier often can also help keep your kitty safe from germs picked up at the vet.